Tag Archives: Snow Babies

Evaluating the Moment

After running a second free-book promotion on Snow Babies, things look as bleak as ever for my publishing goals. It started well. Seven books ordered on the first day tied the best I had ever done on a give-away. But the second day saw a new record set with only one additional order. The three days after that… nothing. I can’t even give my books away for free. If you are reading this today and want to help, click on the link above. You understand e-books. You would be helping me out even if you never read it.

But, I have no illusions. My book is good enough to make a splash if people read it, but nobody will for a variety of reasons. People who knew me growing up in Iowa would be happy to read and support me if the message could get through. But my contact with them is limited by Facebook and its algorithms. Facebook will connect any political post to those on my friends-list who will argue with me and call me a socialist libtard cuck, but even family members don’t get notified of any post that is even remotely like an ad for one of my books. I try to post that kind of thing on friends’ pages, or direct message them, and Facebook steps in to call me a spammer. It is entirely a matter of me trying to advertise without paying any ad money to the greedy bahstidds of Facebook’s data-collection empire. (And yes, I know I misspelled the word about illegitimate birthings.)

My book ads fell on mostly deaf ears (or, rather, blind eyes) on Twitter as well. The #WritingCommunity is supportive, but they are all writers like me, dedicated to getting their own books read and loved. I know that many of them see a free-book ad like mine and think, “Ah, one more hack novelist’s hack novel that takes forever to read, and if I read it, they will never read mine in return.” I know they generally think this because I have slogged through some poorly written Indie novels and left a positive review, and got not even a thank you in return. Of course, nobody there actually knows anybody else. And, like me, they can’t afford to spend money on other people’s books. Although, like me also, they do now and again find books they can’t resist and spend money they can’t afford on those. Those authors won’t read my books either though. (Except for Ted. Ted Bun reads and loves my books as often as I read and love his.)

I will continue to slog through. I will continue to write and read what others wrote. I will continue to labor at this marketing-waste-of-time-formality thing. And I will continue to be depressed about the results. Besides, how else am I to proceed? Great writers are supposed to die alone in poverty and addiction, with no friends and no money. How can I pass up a reward like that?

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Promoting Novels

Three times now I have run a promotion with my best novels (available through Amazon) and have had limited results. But I am trying again for Christmas. While most everybody I advertised to on Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress thanked me for the link, only a handful actually went to the trouble of visiting Amazon and clicking on the free e-book. Some of my Iowegian friends probably weren’t clear on the idea of e-books, especially if they didn’t personally own a Kindle or an I-pad. But I have discovered the promotion is worth doing. The first time involved Snow Babies. I went on Twitter and sent links to writer friends hoping for a hit or two. Apparently only one person got the e-book for free and went on to read it, but she loved the book, told me it should be a classic of YA Literature, and gave it a five-star review.

My second book promotion, for Recipes for Gingerbread Children, did about the same tepid amount of free-book clicks for probably the same reasons. Although you can plainly see it may not have been wise to allow some of the reviewers from the fairy world to have a say in the promotion of this book. Fairies are not wild about having their existence outed, and Iowegians and Texicans don’t really appreciate it when you use irony for stuff.

Still, because it had two nudist characters in it, I also advertised it on https://www.clothesfreelife.com/, and so it got interest from the group of naturist writers who frequent that site. A gentleman by the name of Ted Bun got a copy and reviewed it with a five-star review even though it isn’t really a book about nudism. (Yes, I know some kinds of fairies prefer not to wear clothes, but they don’t count as nudists because they are not human.)

Still, it’s a five-star review by a fellow writer, someone whose books are also very well worth reading. https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bun/e/B01BVG6NVQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575829016&sr=8-1

This past November I was able to promote another of my favorite books, Sing Sad Songs, with another Amazon free promotion.

It generated the same tepid response, even though it was free, but it got another five-star review. It was Ted again, but I have come to value his opinions looking at others of his reviews online and on https://www.goodreads.com/ . So, I have had a total of five five-star reviews on books I have written, all but one by fellow authors. Three of them came about by doing these book promotions. I only have five-star reviews on any of my books that have been reviewed. So, that’s good, right?

What does it mean? Well, nudists really seem to like my books. And nobody who read any of my books and hated it, hated it enough to write a review. And other writers of other novels seem to recognize something they really like about my work.

So, unless Amazon changes their minds about letting me use Snow Babies as a Christmas promotion, I will try again this coming week. Maybe I can get nudists to like that book too, even though there is no nudism in it… only a very cold and deadly blizzard.

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When Readers Respond

I recently got my very first unsolicited review on a book I had written when Mr. Ted Bun, one of the leaders of the nudist writer group on Twitter gave me a five star review on Recipes for Gingerbread Children.

I was grateful and reviewed one of his books on Twitter in return.

But it was totally unsolicited. I didn’t even know any of my book promotions had penetrated such an odd corner of the internet. The story does have nudists in it, but that is not what the book is really about. Mr. Bun acknowledged that much in his review, and still liked it and called it well-written.

My first Amazon book promotion, offering the Kindle version of Snow Babies for free, produced the same kind of fruit. I started by sending a paperback copy to the girl I grew up with that I named the main character after. Valerie read the book to her grandchildren and then sent me this message;

Valerie– Hi Michael! I wanted to let you know that I finished reading your book a couple of days ago, and that I thought it was really good! You used so many colorful descriptions of the characters, that I felt like I could really picture the whole scene! I also enjoyed how you used several people’s names and surrounding towns from our past that brought back good memories. It kept my interest and made me excited to keep reading to see how things turned out! I appreciated how you ended it, too! Thanks again, so much for sharing it with me. I plan to share it with a friend of mine to read and then return to me! Do the Rowan and Belmond libraries have copies of your books? I would be happy to talk to the Belmond library about it, if you haven’t already! I will spread the word, and keep writing! Val

Me– I donated a couple of books to Rowan and one to Belmond.  But I have written a lot more since

They don’t have Snow Babies.   I am so glad you liked the book.  It is one of the best things I have ever written.

Valerie– You can be proud of your hard work! Next time I’m in the library, I will take Snow Babies with me and show them. I know they like to support local authors! 🙂

Me– Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it.

Then I find this tweet on Twitter from a fellow author who responded to my book promotion week.

She read Snow Babies and loved it and shared this review with me before she posted it on Amazon.

Headline: This book has a potential to become a classic

The story takes you to Norwall, a secluded midwestern town where people are expecting a snow blizzard to arrive in couple of hours. Among strangers coming to the town during the blizzard are four very special boys, a hobo, a bus driver, a drunken old lady, a stupid salesman, a couple of newly-weds and a lady following the four boys. Each of them, as well as the local people, has their own interesting story and their stories start to intertwine while the town gets buried in snow.

Some from the locals and the newcomers start to see white naked kids in the snow. In the course of events, they learn that those white kids are so called “snow babies”. According to what people say, those who see snow babies, are supposed to die during the blizzard.

The author has a talent for depicting situations in an impressive manner, so they can be humorous and touching at the same time.  His mature narrative style enables you to learn deeply but in a light way about individual characters and understand their motives. Interesting are the hobo´s droppings of philosophical reflections and life wisdoms from Walt Whitman’s book. Simultaneously, in connection with snow babies, the author keeps you in suspense until the end. The story is not predictable, and the ending left me smiling and absorbed in thought. 

I honestly fell in love with this book from the first page. It is like a fresh breeze compared to a number of today’s books written in similar patterns.

*****

I am amazed that people are beginning to read my books and like them… even love them. I wasn’t expecting that to happen until after I was dead. It is a good feeling that took me by surprise.

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Filed under book review, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing

…In Place of Earning Royalties

Some writers make tons of money for sharing their made-up fantasy worlds. Steven King, JK Rowlings, and James Patterson have made it to the limelight where few authors ever stand. Some of us get by on smaller rewards.

Me, I intend to give myself some grins by sending a copy of my book Snow Babies to a girl who was in my class in grade school, and I may have had a huge crush on her at some point in that past. And because of me being a lazy writer, this post consists mostly of the letter I am sending with the book.

Dear Valerie,

Remember me?  I have lived more of my life in Texas now than I did in Iowa, but my heart is still living in Iowa.  The part of me that turns into fiction books has always been an Iowan.  You are probably wondering why I am sending you a copy of this book.  Well, to be honest, I owe it to you.  You are the person out of everyone I have ever known that the main character is named after.  This is not a best seller and may never make much money.  But this copy represents the share of this book that I owe to you.

If you are worried that I am writing stories about you, don’t be.  The character of Valerie Clarke is based on a student that I taught for two school years.  She did remind me of you in some minor ways.  But the girl in this book is really based on the story of Sofia’s girlhood as I came to know about it.  I would like to tell you a little bit about her.

Sofie was, just like the character in the book, short a parent.  It was a struggle for her to be the cheerful, aggressively positive girl that she was.  She was in my largest class of seventh graders when she was 13, a rather rowdy group of mostly Hispanic kids.  She loved almost every story we read in class.  She enjoyed every group activity and task we did in class, often leading the group she was in, and even sometimes disciplining misbehavior that I hadn’t called the student out for, simply because she felt they should be appreciating my class more.

By the time she was an eighth grader, she had developed a large crush on me.  The year before I married my wife, she actually asked me to wait for her to grow up and marry her instead.  It wasn’t the kind of love that gets a teacher fired and put in prison.  Really, she was looking at me as the father-figure she needed in her life.  Telling you that fact reveals which character in the story actually most resembles me, if you decide you actually want to read this book.

The book is a comedy about a blizzard.  But like any good comedy, it will try to make you love characters enough that parts of it will make you cry as much it makes you laugh.  It is a book I submitted to the 2014 YA Novel contest called the Rosetti Award Competition from Chaunticleer Reviews.  It didn’t win, but it was a finalist. So there is some reason to believe it is not a bad book.

Of all the people I feel compelled to share this book with, your name is at the top of the list.  Partly because I borrowed your name to write it with.  But also, because of the fact that Valerie in the book, and in other books I have written about her, is often known as, “The most beautiful girl ever born in Norwall (Rowan), Iowa.” It was something the boys in the Rowan school said about you in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.  I don’t know if I am telling you something you didn’t already know or not, but it explains your connection to this story.  And why I felt the need to give you a copy of this book.

Read it if you want.  Share it, if you want.  Use it to put a voodoo curse on me if that’s what you want.  But I hope you enjoy it and understand that you do have some part in the fact that it now exists. 

With heartfelt gratitude,

Michael

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Promos with Paffoonies

A Paffooney used in the act of promoting Snow Babies this week.

This week, April 1st through 5th, I created a promotion in which my novel Snow Babies is available for free in e-book format. This is supposed to put the book out there and make people want to read it. I hope I can learn how to use this promotional thingie better than I have for the first time.

I tried to get people to buy it by putting out ads like this, self-created, that had a link to the purchase page on Amazon.

Here’s the link for this post; https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Babies-Michael-Beyer-ebook/dp/B077PMQ4YF/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=michael+beyer+books+snow+babies&qid=1554391562&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

It looks better on Twitter or Facebook than it does here.

I posted it daily on Facebook, Twitter, here on WordPress, and through individual emails and direct messages. So far this week, I have given away four free copies and sold three paperbacks. The paperbacks were bought by me, two of them to give away to specific people, and one that my sister bought before I could send her one. I also intend to send one as a surprise to the girl from my grade school class that the main character on the cover is named after. I am hoping that she and her daughters and granddaughters will read it and love it rather than burn it.

I made a connection over Twitter with Prince Hamdan Mohammed of Saudi Arabia over it, a surprise to me to say the least, though I have no reason to believe that he even accepted the free copy of my book.

But that’s the sum of my promotional results it seems. I may have earned $5 in royalties this week. I may have bargained for one positive review. I have a Saudi Prince for a pen-pal. And my literary work will probably remain in obscurity until long after I am dead, if it even splashes then.

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Snow Babies Novel Promotion

I will be making my best YA novel, Snow Babies, available for free on Amazon in Kindle e-book format starting April 1st. You will be able to find it on Amazon through this link; https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Babies-Michael-Beyer-ebook/dp/B077PMQ4YF/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=michael+beyer+books+snow+babies&qid=1553783197&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

It will be free even without a Kindle Unlimited membership from April 1st, 2019 through April 5th.

And really, this is the best book I have written so far.

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Finding My Voice

As Big MacIntosh welcomes more little ponies into my insanely large doll collection, I have been reading my published novel Snow Babies.  The novel is written in third person viewpoint with a single focus character for each scene.  But because the story is about a whole community surviving a blizzard with multiple story lines criss-crossing and converging only to diverge and dance away from each other again, the focus character varies from scene to scene.

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Big MacIntosh finds himself to be the leader of a new group of My Little Ponies.

In Canto Two, Valerie Clarke, the central main character of the story, is the focus character.  Any and all thoughts suggested by the narrative occur only in Valerie’s pretty little head.  Canto Three is focused through the mind of Trailways bus driver Ed Grosland.  Canto Four focuses on Sheriff’s Deputy Cliff Baily.  And so, on it goes through a multitude of different heads, some heroic, some wise, some idiotic, and some mildly insane.  Because it is a comedy about orphans freezing to death, some of the focus characters are even thinking at the reader through frozen brains.

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The ponies decide to visit Minnie Mouse’s recycled Barbie Dreamhouse where Olaf the Snowman is the acting butler.

That kind of fractured character focus threatens to turn me schizophrenic.  I enjoy thinking like varied characters and changing it up, but the more I write, the more the characters become like me, and the more I become them.  How exactly do you manage a humorous narrative voice when you are constantly becoming someone else and morphing the way you talk to fit different people?  Especially when some of your characters are stupid people with limited vocabularies and limited understanding?

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The ponies are invited to live upstairs with the evil rabbit, Pokemon, and Minions.

I did an entire novel, Superchicken, in third person viewpoint with one focus character, Edward-Andrew Campbell, the Superchicken himself.  That is considerably less schizophrenic than the other book.  But it is still telling a story in my voice with my penchant for big words, metaphors, and exaggerations.

The novel I am working on in rough draft manuscript form right now, The Baby Werewolf, is done entirely in first person point of view.  That is even more of an exercise of losing yourself inside the head of a character who is not you.  One of the first person narrators is a girl, and one is a werewolf.  So, I have really had to stretch my writing ability to make myself into someone else multiple times.

I assure you, I am working hard to find a proper voice with which to share my personal wit and wisdom with the world.  But if the men in white coats come to lock me away in a loony bin somewhere, it won’t be because I am playing a lot with My Little Ponies.

 

 

 

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